bootleg

1 of 2

noun

boot·​leg ˈbüt-ˌleg How to pronounce bootleg (audio)
-ˌlāg
1
: the upper part of a boot
2
: something bootlegged: such as
a
b
: an unauthorized audio or video recording
3
: a football play in which the quarterback fakes a handoff, hides the ball against his hip, and rolls out compare draw entry 2 sense 8
bootleg adjective

bootleg

2 of 2

verb

bootlegged; bootlegging; bootlegs

transitive verb

1
a
: to carry (alcoholic liquor) on one's person illegally
b
: to manufacture, sell, or transport for sale (alcoholic liquor) illegally
2
a
: to produce, reproduce, or distribute illicitly or without authorization
b

intransitive verb

1
: to engage in bootlegging
2
: to run a bootleg play in football

Example Sentences

Noun She was arrested for selling bootlegs online. getting caught with bootleg during Prohibition could have resulted in a jail sentence Verb He bootlegged the show and gave copies to several friends.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In northern India, 79 people died from bootleg liquor in three separate incidents in February 2019. Mogomotsi Magome, ajc, 19 July 2022 There’s four basic plays: toss, power pitch, fullback trap and quarterback bootleg. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2022 Johnson instituted more of the bootleg and play-action passing game that Goff excelled at with the Rams, and the change seems to have benefitted Goff so far. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 27 Aug. 2022 Underground clothing lines make coveted bootleg tees and caps in homage to his films. New York Times, 20 July 2022 According to Professor Lester Davids from the University of Cape Town: Mercury still gets imported to be used in the arts industry locally but gets added to bootleg products. Umuhoza Rahmat, CNN, 13 July 2022 Allen’s 11-yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg evened the score, which held until the game’s final minutes. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 2 Oct. 2022 Just a few plays later George connected with Cornist for a walk-in on a bootleg, giving the Warriors their first lead of the night with six seconds remaining in the half. Evan Merrill, The Enquirer, 1 Oct. 2022 Hopkins gained 17 yards down to the 4-yard line on a naked bootleg and McBride finished dessert with his final touchdown of the game, a 4-yard plunge into the end zone to give the Blazers a 35-21 lead late in the final frame. Evan Dudley, al, 17 Sep. 2022
Verb
At the same time, Olson and his bootlegging compatriots entered town and were warned of the marshals’ movements. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 1 June 2020 But can watching bootlegged or pirated video on the internet get viewers into trouble, too? Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, 16 Dec. 2019 It has rarely been screened in theaters and never released for home video, but it has been widely bootlegged. Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2019 Most of their neighbors were inside tents, playing video games or watching movies on their cellphones, electricity bootlegged from a city utility box. Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2019 But the extras still include a wealth of alternate early takes and demos that have mostly never been released or bootlegged before. Chris Willman, chicagotribune.com, 8 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, today’s nationalists are happy to demonize a China that bootlegs Mickey Mouse but are silent about the very same China that rounds up internal enemies and puts them in concentration camps. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, 26 June 2019 There was also talk that O’Hara’s mill businesses in Fall River were actually fronts to launder money from bootlegging operations along the New Bedford-Fall River coastline. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, 9 June 2017 Newton got the linebackers and safeties to freeze on a fake to Jonathan Stewart, bootlegged to his left and dropped a pass to a wide-open Dickson, who rumbled for 57 yards before again being dragged down inside the 10. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, 9 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bootleg.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

boot entry 3 + leg entry 1

Verb

derivative of bootleg entry 1, from the concealment of a flask of liquor in the leg of a boot

First Known Use

Noun

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1898, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bootleg was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near bootleg

Cite this Entry

“Bootleg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bootleg. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

bootleg 1 of 2

verb

boot·​leg -ˌleg How to pronounce bootleg (audio)
bootlegged; bootlegging
1
: to make, transport, or sell alcoholic liquor illegally
2
a
: to produce or sell illegally or without permission
bootlegged recordings
bootlegger noun

bootleg

2 of 2

noun

: something bootlegged
especially : moonshine sense 3
bootleg adjective

Legal Definition

bootleg 1 of 2

noun

boot·​leg
: something bootlegged
bootleg adjective

bootleg

2 of 2

verb

bootlegged; bootlegging

transitive verb

1
: to produce, reproduce, or distribute without authorization or license
2
: smuggle compare pirate

intransitive verb

: to engage in bootlegging
bootlegger noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bootleg

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